Suppliers Frequently Asked Questions

I have been hired to provide a service or product for TPS, now what?


I am a new Vendor, being ask to work for the Tacoma School District, what is the first step?

Call the Tacoma School District Purchasing Department, we would be happy to assist you, or complete the New Vendor Set Up Forms and return to Make sure you have indicated the Department and Individual requesting your services.

Can I start work, or order product for deliveries via a phone and/or email request?

NO! Providing goods or services requires an approved Tacoma School District Purchase Order. 

In order to do business with the Tacoma School District, you must obtain an approved purchase order or Tacoma School District procurement card (PCard) Visa card, prior to providing any goods or services. This has been Board of Directors policy for many years, and is completely consistent with proper business practices. 

If you are presently providing goods or services (or have done so in the recent past) without an approved purchase order or authorized PCard transaction, you must contact the Purchasing Department at 253- 571-3380 immediately. We will review your situation and determine if payment can be made, and, if so, what steps are needed by you. 

How to handle a request from an individual or department. 

If a school or department requests you to provide goods or services without an approved purchase order or PCard, do not provide the goods or services. Instead, direct the school or department to obtain an approved purchase order through the Tacoma School District Purchasing Department. Schools and departments have been put on alert that ordering goods or services without an approved form of payment is a violation of Board Policy 6210 unless the payment is made with an authorized PCard.

My work is complete, how do I get paid? 

Invoices must include a purchase order number, itemized description of services rendered, date the materials were delivered, invoice date and amount due. All invoices must be submitted to Tacoma Public Schools, Accounts Payable, via regular mail to: 601 South 8th Street, Tacoma, WA 98405, or via email to:


The Tacoma School District shall not make payments in advance or in anticipation of services or supplies to be provided under this Contract. All payments to the Contractor are conditioned upon (1) Contractor's submission of a properly executed and supported voucher for payment, including such supporting documentation of performance and supporting documentation of costs incurred or paid, or both as is otherwise provided for in the body of the Purchase Order, "Terms and Conditions" or Tacoma School District Contract, and (2) acceptance and certification by the Tacoma School District's Superintendent or designee of satisfactory performance by the Contractor.


Except as otherwise provided in this Contract, (1) all acceptable vouchers for payment due to the Contractor shall be paid within thirty (30) calendar days [Note: The 30 days begin upon receipt of the goods or services or a properly complete invoice, whichever is later.], and (2) all expenses necessary to the Contractor's performance of this Contract shall be borne in full by the Contractor.

Is there help available for new vendors? 

Yes, contact the Purchasing Department if you need help or have never done business with the Tacoma School District before. We will ensure your business is set up in our system and provide information about doing business with us.

I have a new small business and need help with building a business plan and setting up basic tax accounting. Can you help? 

Sorry, but no. There are limitations on the assistance we can provide in these areas. We can provide help on doing business with Tacoma School District and we can direct you to resources such as the William Factory Small Business Incubator in Tacoma.

Is there any specific document my business must have before starting work at Tacoma School District? 

Yes, you must have a Tacoma School District purchase order before starting work. Failure to have a purchase order prior to starting work puts the business at its own risk and may jeopardize payment. If a Tacoma School District staff member directs you to start work without a purchase order, please contact the Purchasing Department immediately and we will ensure the purchase order or approved form of payment is properly executed.

Does my company need a business license? 

Yes. Go to this web site: to register your business in Washington State. If your business is located in the state of Washington and it will earn more than $12,000 in a year, then the business must have a Washington Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number.

Is there an insurance requirement? 

Yes, Prior to start of work Tacoma School Tacoma School District #10, vendor must provide documents to Tacoma School Tacoma School District #10, for details of what is required, refer to "Terms and Conditions" on your contract or issued PO.

Payment Schedule 

Payments for invoices received by Tacoma School Tacoma School District are paid NET 30 days from the invoice date, unless discount terms are offered. Accounts Payable payments are processed weekly, provided all Requirements above and Invoice Requirements listed below are met.

Invoice Requirements 

  1. Invoice must reference a Purchase Order Number.
  2. Jobs must be invoiced separately unless a Purchase Order is issued for more than one job, in which case each job must be subtotaled.
  3. If your Invoice has more than one line item, the line items must match the line items against your issued Purchase Order.
  4. If you are a contractor performing work on a public works project, be sure to read your purchase order requirements for filing "Intent to Pay Prevailing Wage" and "Affidavit of Wages Paid" to avoid payment delays.. Only for Public Works, could be confusing 

Invoices that do not meet the above Invoice Requirements will be returned to vendor for correction, or paid later than per the Payment Schedule. 

It is Vendor's responsibility to obtain a Purchase Order prior to the start of any work or invoice submittals. Tacoma School District Accounts Payable Department will not track down copies nor authorize Purchase Orders.

Vendors have the responsibility to submit invoices to the Tacoma School District's Accounts Payable Department in a timely manner. Late invoice submissions risk payment delays or non- payment if the grant or other funding source has expired.